Windows 10 May 2019 Update is causing trouble with Surface Book 2

Surface Book 2
Image credit: TechRadar

Windows 10 May 2019 Update apparently has serious issues with a reportedly small number of Surface Book 2 hybrids, specifically those with a discrete GPU, and Microsoft has seemingly blocked the upgrade on these machines for the time being (as it commonly does when potential hardware compatibility problems are discovered).

Windows Latest spotted a number of posts on Reddit (and Twitter, along with Microsoft’s own feedback hub) made by users who have encountered this issue with their Surface Book 2, the vast majority of whom have a GTX 1060 graphics card (although a few reports mention the GTX 1050 as well).

The problem as described by these users is that after installing the May 2019 Update, the discrete GPU keeps cutting out and disconnecting, effectively vanishing from the system temporarily.

This means the Surface machine must fall back to use the (much slower) integrated GPU, and can result in a Blue Screen of Death, with some users complaining that such a crash has resulted in them losing work.

It seems that the problem only occurs when you’re using an application that exerts a heavy workload on the GPU, such as Photoshop for example.

On two separate Reddit threads, it has been noted that a Microsoft support agent suggested rolling back to the October 2018 Update until the issue is fixed.

Microsoft is investigating

Another thread on Reddit comes from a 15-inch Surface Book 2 owner who observes that the May 2019 Update has been blocked for their machine, as we mentioned at the outset, and other folks have now found this too.

Presumably, Microsoft has taken this action due to the issue with the discrete GPU, and a Microsoft developer chimed in on that particular Reddit thread to confirm that the company is investigating the issue.

The developer commented: “Not sure on the timeline, I believe the issue is the graphics drivers so however long it takes for them to get fixed versions.”

Hopefully we will get an official comment from Microsoft before long, confirming that there is indeed an issue, and if that’s the case, hopefully some more concrete news on when a fix might be delivered. No mention has yet been made of the problem on the May 2019 Update’s health dashboard.

Other folks on these Reddit threads are also reporting that the Windows 10 May 2019 Update has been blocked on other Surface hardware including the Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 6, and Surface Book with Performance Base.

That said, we own a Surface Pro 6, and the upgrade has been offered to us (although we haven’t taken it yet – and may well just wait a bit longer before installing the update).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).